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Retinoblastoma Radiation Treatment

For people with retinoblastoma, radiation treatment options include intensity-modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic radiation therapy, proton beam radiation therapy, and plaque radiotherapy. The specific type of retinoblastoma radiation treatment that your doctor suggests will depend on factors such as the type of retinoblastoma involved and the stage it is at.

Retinoblastoma Radiation Treatment: An Overview

Radiation treatment involves the use of high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two primary ways in which radiation therapy is given:
  • External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer.
  • Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, plaques, or catheters that are then placed directly into or near the cancer.
The way the radiation therapy is administered depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Specific Methods of Retinoblastoma Radiation Treatment

Methods of retinoblastoma radiation treatment include the following:
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Stereotactic radiation therapy
  • Proton beam radiation therapy
  • Plaque radiotherapy.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is a type of three-dimensional (3-D) radiation treatment that uses a computer to make pictures of the size and shape of the tumor. It is a form of external radiation treatment. Thin beams of radiation of different intensities are aimed at the tumor from many angles. This type of radiation therapy causes less damage to healthy tissue near the tumor.
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